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INTRODUCTORY   ESSAY.                                 247
mountains to the north-east arc considerably more elevated
than those to the northward, over which the aerial current
probably flows into the valley of Assam.
The first condensation of the moisturc-ladcu winds takes
place in the lower part of the valley, which is hemmed in by
hills at the apex of its delta. Further north there are no
more considerable elevations till we reach the sources of the
Irawadi, so that in the central part of its course the rain-fall
is comparatively small. We havo therefore in Pegu a climate
like that of the Qangetic delta, the rain-fall amounting at
Rangoon to 83 inches; but in Ava a dry climate, like that of
t1 .c Gangetic valley, or the Carnatic, prevails, with a moderate
rain-fall at one season only. The upper valley is again more
humid, from the loftier mountains and the more irregular
surface of the country.
In the delta of the Irawadi there is a maritime vegetation
of mangroves, Sonneratia, Heritiera, E#c<ecaria, and other
saline plants, just as in similar salt-marshes along the coasts of
the tropics. Throughout the plains of Pegu the vegetation
is like that of the Gangetic delta, or the open parts of the
valley of Assam. Cocoa-nut, Corypha, and Borassus arc the
common palms, with Pandanus, Stravadium, and abundance
of epiphytical Orchidets. On the mountains the flora is of
course more varied, and is a continuation of that of Tenas-
serim to the south.
In Ava, with a climate and temperature very similar to that
of the Carnatic, we f Jid an almost identical vegetation. Cap-
paride& are common, with acacias, an arboreous Euphorbia,
Calotropis gigantea, Gullandma Bonduc, Zizypkus, and Bom-
bo^ ; mangos and Fid, with Borassns, arc cultivated. Teak
is common on che mountains. The vegetation of the higher
parts of the IrawarH is described by Griffith as very similar to
that of Assam.
The valley of Maoipur is drained by the most westerly
tributary.of the Irawadi: it is separated from Cachar by a
mountain range, which is GOOO or HOW) feet high, and is